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Adieu, 32

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The tenth month of the year arrives and so does a new Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) update. Is it a portent that this is the 31st release of Ubuntu and with the 32nd release next year, 32-bit x86 Ubuntu builds will end?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It’s been discussed for literally years, and access to x86 builds has been slowly decreasing; the net build was still an option for 19.xx, but with 20.04, x86 builds will be 64-bit only. Sure, Arm still has 32-bit builds for those vital embedded devices. The more worrying concern was support for 32-bit software: hardware eventually dies, but software lives on for as long as it can be stored. Thankfully, the community outcry made Canonical see sense here and 32-bit library support continues, for now.

It’s an issue that’s happened before and will happen again. How do you feel? Let us know! At least as open source, other projects are free to spring up and take over, and part of that is why we’re looking at how you can run lighter and faster distros in this issue.

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